Before you visit Prague - History, Trip Planning, Accommodation & Safety

To enjoy the city to the fullest, regardless of whether you are visiting Prague, just for short time or for a full week, our guide will be there to help you discover the best of it. But, also be prepared to abandon our suggested sightseeing itineraries and wander wherever your mood takes you.


Introduction to Prague


Don´t overlook the small side streets and courtyards where Prague is often at its most charming. Don´t worry about getting lost, Prague´s center is quite compact and best explored on foot. However, when you get tired, take the tram or metro. Public transportation is very efficient, cheap and one of the best in Europe. Spend some time in traditional Czech pubs and cafés, do some shopping, take a few romantic photos of Charles Bridge, all-the-while marveling at the beauty of thousand spires that have already attracted millions of tour groups.

Prague is a city of red rooftops and thousand spires, of wooded hills with splendid views. And one of the best views over the city is from Prague Castle. But if you prefer to escape crowds, visit other lofty vantage points like Petřín, Vyšehrad or Letná.

The capital was untouched by natural disasters for six hundred years and was undamaged by WWII. Few other European cities can offer you such an unforgettable experience, just by walking through the redeveloped Baroque, Rococo, and Art Nouveau streets.

One of the reasons that Prague is so popular is that there is so much to do in the city. From clubs to concerts there is something for everyone.

Despite Prague no longer being the bargain destination it once was, it is still a very affordable city where many attractions can be visited free of charge or with low admission.



Brief History of Prague


Founded in the latter part of the 9th-century, Prague became the seat of the kings of Bohemia. The city flourished during the 14th-century reign of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town, Charles Bridge. St Vitus Cathedral, and the Charles University.

For centuries, Prague was a multiethnic city with an important Czech, German, and (a mostly Yiddish, German speaking) Jewish population. The four cities that previously formed Prague only unified in 1784 to proclaim the Prague we know today. These four cities were Hradčany, Lesser Town, Old Town, and New Town. In 1850, the city underwent further expansion when the Hebrew district Josefov was constructed.

From 1939, when the country was occupied by the Nazis, and during WWII, most Jews either fled the city or were killed in the Holocaust. The German population, which had formed the minority of the city´s inhabitants till the 19th-century, was expelled in the aftermath of the war.

Prague was under communist rule for over 40 years and seldom visited by tourists until after the Velvet Revolution on 17th November 1989. From the moment freedom came to the streets, the city started enjoying a huge economic boom, even more fo after the Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004. Now, it is a very popular tourist destination. According to statistics, it is the fifth most visited city in Europe.

Prague has a vast number of buildings of special architectural interest. In 1922, the historical center of the city, covering 866 hectares (3.34 square miles), was listed in UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Register.

No matter where you go, you will discover parts of the city´s multiplayer history dating back to the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Empire, the first Czechoslovak Republic (1918), the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Czechoslovakia under Communist Regime to the present time of a democratic Czech Republic.

The city is situated on both banks of the River Vltava in central Bohemia. Prague is the Czech Republic´s capital and the cradle of Czech culture. Many famous writers, artists, athletes and sportspeople, models, and film directors were born here.


Interest facts

Prague (Praha in Czech) is home to nearly 1.3 million inhabitants (94% Czechs and 4% Slovaks). The city is situated about 1377 km from London, 292 km from Vienna and 350 km from Berlin. The official language is Czech, but the people also speak English, German and Russian.




Planning trip to Prague


Prague is busy almost year-around, except in January and February, which are probably the quietest months of the year. Despite the fact, Prague isn´t a city requiring a visitor to do extra planning or make advance bookings.

Most visitors book their accommodation prior to arrival to get online rates, which is much cheaper than the normal hotel walk-in rates. But, if for some reason you do not make an advance booking, Prague still has a lot of hotels and other facilities to accommodate crowds of tourists, and you will always find a place to stay. The recession has hit Prague´s hotel sector hard creating a constant oversupply of top-end hotel rooms causing many places to drop their prices and offer last-minute deals in an attempt to attract guests.

For the modest and cheap restaurants, it is not necessary to make a reservation, in the upscale restaurants, it is recommended you reserve a table one day in advance, or even on the morning of the same day. The exception might be for New Year´s Day, Valentine´s Day or Easter, when one week in advance should be sufficient.

If you wish to attend a particular opera or classical music concert, we advise booking two or three weeks ahead to ensure seating. Outside of high seasons, you won´t have any difficulty getting tickets from the box-office on the day of the performance.

If you travel to Prague on low-cost airlines, it is probably the only part of your tip where earlier means cheaper in terms of advance ticket booking.


Money and costs


Apart from hotel prices, city center restaurants, and other tourist attractions, Prague is still quite cheap and considered a bargain destination compared to other western European countries. Though for luxury goods, like electrical appliances, cosmetics, and fashion, prices are higher than elsewhere, resulting in the fact that many locals even go on shopping trips to neighboring Germany or Austria.

An average tourist will spend around 2500 CZK per person per day, including accommodation, admission fees, and transport costs. The lowest daily budget can be as little as 900 CZK if you stay at cheapest hostels, eat takeaway food and use public transport. However, if you stay in a 3-star hotel, eat at average restaurants, visit some paid attractions and manage your budget, you can get by on 2500 CZK a day per person. At the luxury end, if you stay at top-end hotels, eat at exclusive restaurants, shop and use taxis, you could easily spend 10 000 CZK a day per person.

Do not expect Prague to be extremely cheap and keep in mind that only some products and services are much cheaper here. Beer, food in supermarkets, and public transport remain relative bargains compared to other European capitals.

Attractive hotels in Prague´s city center range between 3500 CZK and 8 000 CZK for a double room, but hotels in the suburbs can cost as little as 800 CZK for a single room. Staying in a hostel dormitory room for one, costs on average 500 CZK, but can be found for low as 300 CZK in the low season. Dinner for two with some drinks at one of the fancier restaurants can cost around 200 CZK or at a midrange restaurant from 900 CZK to 1200 CZK. Lunch in a pub costs about 300 CZK per person and a special lunch menu in cheap eatery costs around 100 CZK to 150 CZK. A cup of coffee in a city café is 60 CZK, but in Starbucks, it is around 100 CZK. A beer in a pub outside the city center will co will cost around 30 CZK though, in the heart of the city, this will cost up to 80 CZK, soft drinks about 35 CZK. Cigarettes are still a bit cheaper than in other parts of the EU: a pack of Marlboro cigarettes costs 106 CZK. In supermarkets, a 0.5l bottle of water costs 15 CZK, a loaf of bread from 25 CZK, a liter of milk 20 CZK.

If you are planning to rent a car, a liter of petrol will cost you around 32 CZK. Cinema tickets cost up to 200 CZK. A one-day public transport pass costs 110 CZK, a taxi from the airport to the city center is around 650 CZK, and a taxi within the city center should cost around 250 CZK.


Best time to Visit Prague


Prague has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. Probably the best time to visit Prague is around May or September when the weather is not too hot or cold, and the city is not overcrowded.

It is not unusual during the summer for temperatures to reach as high as 35°C (95°F), and in the winter it can be as cold as -15°C (5°F). The average high temperature from May to September is 22°C (72°F), with an average low of 12°C (54°F) and on average seven hours of sunshine per day.

Spring and summer are likely to be the sunniest months, while the period between May and August is the rainiest-sudden storms and showers are common, therefore don´t forget your umbrella. The amount of rainfall is fairly consistent throughout the year, with just a tad more in spring and autumn, and the very occasional summer thunderstorm.

December is the time to visit Xmas markets or at the end of year join the New Year´s crowds celebrating in the streets. It is also a good time for opera and concert lovers. Snow is somewhat rare in Prague but the best months to get a chance to see the city covered in a white blanket are January and February.

If you´re planning to visit Prague during the peak summer season, be prepared for crowded restaurants and hotels, and a city full of tourists.


Clothes & Packing


The weather in Prague can be changeable during the spring and summer, so it is worth bringing some warm clothing and a waterproof jacket as well.

When visiting Prague during the autumn or winter months, bring a good selection of warm clothes. But probably the most important to take is a pair of comfortable shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking. Since many streets are still cobblestone, it can be tough on your feet.


Advice for Saving Money


  • Do not take cabs for inter-city travel. Use public transport or book our private transfer services ( from Airport, Inter-City transfers or day trips from Prague)

  • Do not exchange money at the airport. Instead, obtain local currency using your ATM card.

  • Don´t forget that lots of local dishes are sufficiently big to share and that these can be complemented well with traditional Czech beer.

  • Always try to pay with local Czech crowns when possible.

  • Avoid the Italian restaurants and sushi in the city center and buy Czech food. You will discover better value for money in the favorite local restaurants.




Prague offers an extensive range of accommodation options, from romantic hotels based in historic townhouses to international chain hotels, such as the Ibis, Hilton, Sheraton, and Crown Plaza. There are also budget hostels, as well as smaller boutique hotels. Furthermore, a new trend has emerged of renting a Prague apartment for a short-term period with Airbnb, which is particularly popular among bigger groups who prefer self-catering and more privacy.

Do not be surprised to discover some hotels which date back to the Communist period, but which are all equipped with modern amenities. Hotel prices are similar to the rest of Europe and, generally, the further you are from the center, the less expensive they are. Some hotels feature name prefixes, such as Lesser Town of Old Town ( for instance, Ibis Wenceslas Square, Ibis Lesser Town, Hilton Old Town ). However, often these hotels are not situated in these areas, and the name prefixes are just a marketing ploy.

If you are traveling around Christmas, Easter, or July and August, it is best to book well ahead. When looking for accommodation, you should check both the price and the distance from the city center. Sometimes it is better to find accommodation further from the center because, compared to other world cities, Prague is quite small, and its public transport is very effective.





Safety in Prague


Prague is a comparatively safe city, violent crimes very seldom happen, and while the crime rate is still low, common safety precautions should be taken as petty crime is on the increase in the central areas of Prague.

Do not leave valuables, including your passport, unattended in hotel rooms. Instead, use hotel safes or better yet, leave your expensive items at home and just take your passport. The biggest danger for tourists is definitely pick-pocketing. This is most common where large groups gather, i.e., on crowded trams or at busy tourist spots. When traveling, keep a photocopy of your passport and credit card information on you. This way if you lose these items or have them stolen, you will be able to get replacement travel documents and access to your money. According to Czech law, you have to have proof of your identification with you at all times, but in reality, the police very rarely ask people for identification. If arriving by car don´t keep luggage and valuables visible in your car.


Watch out for Pickpockets

Pickpockets in Prague are very skillful. They usually act in a group and target trams, metros, and other crowded places. Be particularly careful on tram no.: 22.


Dishonest Prague Taxi Drivers

Sadly, Prague still has some of the worst taxi drivers in the world when it comes to overcharging. It´s a standard warning that taxi drivers in Prague are famous for trying to rip off both tourists and locals. Never take a taxi off the street, especially taxis parked in front of railway stations or tourist areas close to the Wenceslas Square. etc. From the airport or train station, pre-book a safe transfer in advance.


Scams in Prague Restaurants

Even though the current situation is much better compared to ten years ago, you should still be aware of this and always check your bill carefully. The most common scam is charging for additional extras like sauces, bread, rolls or pretzels on the table. Usually, the menu will state that the price excludes charges for bread, but the notice will be printed somewhere where it is hard to see. The simple solution is if you do not want to pay for those items, then ask the wait staff to take them away. Even if you do not eat it, but it is on the table, you are obliged to pay. In pubs, if you do not get an itemized bill, do a quick tough calculation and if in doubt, ask your wait staff for a detailed bill. If you pay a large bill for a group of people, it is pretty easy to squeeze in a few extra crowns on your bill, or they may make a wrong calculation. By Czech law, the bill always includes a service charge but does not include optional tips. Some establishments might try to persuade customers to leave an additional 10%, although you do not have to unless the service was excellent.



There is no health threat when traveling to Prague. The water supply in Prague is good. It is considered very safe to drink water from the tap, but it is heavily chlorinated so it can have a metallic taste. If you need drugs for the medical condition, go to a pharmacy, the only places that sell over-the-counter medicines, They also dispense many drugs normally available only on prescription.


Legal matters

Alcohol: The legal drinking age is 18 years.

Drugs: The law in the Czech Republic forbids possessing more than a small amount of drugs. ( ???)

Driving: There is zero blood alcohol tolerance.

Tourist Police Station: Jungmanovo nám. 9 or Vlašská 3 ( open 24-hours and have English-speaking officers).


Emergency Numbers

112: General emergency number similar to 999 in the UK or 911 in the US.

150: Fire brigade

155: Medical emergency (ambulance / first aid)

156: Prague City police

158: State Police


    | Author:

    | A Prague-­based company T&A Transfers provides Car Services at fixed prices.